The Asahi Prize

The Asahi Prize was established in 1929 to honor individuals and groups that have made outstanding accomplishments in the fields of academics and arts, and have greatly contributed to the development and progress of Japanese culture and society at large.

The Asahi Shimbun Company is pleased to annouce the recipients of the Asahi Prize for fiscal 2013 as listed below.

The Prize is regarded as one of the most prestigious prizes awarded by a nongovernmental entity. Many recipients of the Asahi Prize have later been honored with a Nobel Prize or the Order of Culture decoration. A total of 450 individuals and 27 groups have received the Prize since its inception (as of fiscal 2013).

◇ Asahi Prize recipients

Fiscal 2013
Takarazuka Revue CompanyFor Takarazuka Revue's 100-year-long contribution to Japan's performing arts
Tatsuya Nakadai, actorFor long years of activities as an actor and contribution to the theater and movie worlds through nurturing of junior fellows
Kenji Kosaka, director, Medical Care Court ClinicFor discovering dementia with Lewy bodies
Kazutoshi Mori, professor, Kyoto UniversityFor the elucidation of the endoplasmic reticulum stress response
Fiscal 2012
Juro Kara, playwrightFor creating illusionary dramas and producing unique stage performances in outdoor tents
Hiroyuki Matsunami, professor emeritus, Kyoto UniversityFor conducting pioneering studies on silicon carbide used in power semiconductors
Nobuo Kamiya, professor, Osaka City University
Kenjin Shin, professor, Okayama University
For clarifying the molecular structure of oxygen-evolving center of Photosystem II
Fiscal 2011
Tadanori Yokoo, artistFor creating innovative graphic designs and paintings that constantly resonate with the current times
Isao Tomita, composerFor worldwide activities as music composer and sound creator
Chizuko Ueno, sociologistFor research and practice in women’s studies, feminism and care issues
Hidetoshi Katori, professor, The University of TokyoFor research on the optical lattice clock
Shimon Sakaguchi, professor, Osaka UniversityFor explaining the mechanism of immunological tolerance through the discovery of regulatory T cells
Fiscal 2010
Natsuki Ikezawa, writerFor his distinguished work as a writer and critic, and compiling a literary collection from a global standpoint.
Masazumi Harada, medical doctorFor proposing and developing an interdisciplinary "Minamata Study" through his medical research on the Minamata disease.
Spacecraft "Hayabusa" Project Team:
(Hayabusa Project Manager: Junichiro Kawaguchi, professor,Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA);
Representative of industrial community: Shinji Hagino, Senior Manager, Space & Satellite Systems Department Space Systems Division NEC Corporation;
Representative of academia: Kazuo Tsuchiya, professor emeritus, Kyoto University)
For the world's first successful asteroid probe to travel through space and return from its mission, made possible through the collaboration of industry, government and academia.
Hideo Hosono, professor,Frontier Research Center,Tokyo Institute of TechnologyFor discovery and development of brand new transparent oxide semiconductors and metals.
Fiscal 2009
Toyo Ito, architectFor his distinguished work in modern architecture that expanded the possibilities of notions of space.
Hideki Noda, playwright, theater director, actorFor breaking new ground in modern theater, and promoting international exchange through theater arts.
Kenji Fukaya, professor, Kyoto University Graduate School of ScienceFor his research in symplectic geometry.
Chikashi Toyoshima, professor, Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences, University of TokyoFor clarifying the mechanical operation of the calcium pump.
Gen Suwa, professor, University Museum, University of TokyoFor his research related to the earliest stages of human evolution, including the Ardipithecus ramidus.
Fiscal 2008
Shigeru MizukiFor his contribution to the manga comic culture through his wide range of original works featuring specters and portrayals of the horrors of war.
Hisae SawachiFor her distinguished works of nonfiction that pursued the truth behind major incidents during the Showa Era leading up to World War II.
Minoru BetsuyakuFor his brilliant, longstanding work as a playwright, who laid the foundation for establishing the “theater of the absurd” in Japan.
Yoshinori OsumiFor clarifying the molecular dissection of the autophagy, intracellular degradation system.
Fiscal 2007
Momoko IshiiFor her continued dedication to children’s literature, including her translation of “Winnie-the-Pooh.”
Sumitayu TakemotoFor his significant contribution and services to Bunraku puppetry and for establishing his artistic style as the most accomplished Tayu (narrator) in the current Bunraku theater.
Terunobu Miyazaki and Shinji YuasaFor their research on the development and application of Tunnel Magnetoresistance (TMR).
Yukio Fukuyama, Tatsushi Toda and Tamao EndoFor their discovery and findings on Fukuyama Type Congenital Muscular Dystrophy and the elucidation of related diseases.
Shinya YamanakaFor development and verification of a new method to generate pluripotent stem cells.
Fiscal 2006
Seiko TanabeFor her outstanding literary work culminating in the completion of “Tanabe Seiko Zenshu (The Complete Works of Seiko Tanabe)” ( 24 volumes and one supplementary volume).
Haruki MurakamiFor his literary works that have been translated into numerous languages across the world, drawing wide support from the younger generation.
Mansaku NomuraFor his contribution to a wide range of theatrical arts as well his outstanding performances in the Japanese classical Kyogen theater.
Mitsuo KawatoFor his presentation of the cerebellum internal model theory and its verification; and clarifying brain functions by using a humanoid robot.
Takao KondoFor research on the molecular mechanism of the biological clock.
Osamu ShimomuraFor the discovery of green fluorescent protein and his contributions to the field of life science.
Fiscal 2005
Kyoko HayashiFor her outstanding literary works which culminated in the “Hayashi Kyoko Zenshu (The Complete Works of Kyoko Hayashi)” (8 volumes).
Hiroyuki IwakiFor introducing a wide-range of contemporary Japanese music to a world-wide audience through his energetic work as a conductor.
Shoichi OzawaFor his outstanding work as an actor as well as his dedication to recording and reappraising the art of Japanese traditional street performers.
Yoshiki KuramotoFor his pioneering research on the nonlinear model of the synchronization phenomenon.
Shizuo AkiraFor his research on the mechanism of pathogen recognition in natural immunity.
Fiscal 2004
Minoru NakamuraFor his distinguished work as a poet and his services for the literary museum, culminating in the book “Watashino Showa-shi (My personal history of the Showa period).”
Toshiko AkiyoshiFor her contribution to developing and spreading jazz music as a pianist and big band leader based in the United States.
Fumitada ItakuraFor developing the sound compression technology which serves as the basis of cell phones.
Keiji TanakaFor defining the structure and mechanism of proteasome in relation to protein degradation.
Fiscal 2003
Ikuo HirayamaFor his outstanding work as an artist during his distinguished career, and his international dedication to the preservation of cultural heritages.
Saiichi MaruyaFor his distinguished literary works over many years, and his latest book titled “Kagayaku Hinomiya (The Shining Prince).”
Hideki KanbaraFor developing a high-throughput DNA-sequencing device.
Yasushi MiyashitaFor clarifying the memory mechanism of the cerebrum.
Fiscal 2002
Rei KawakuboFor her distinguished work that breaks boundaries of creativity and makes her one of the world’s fashion leaders.
Saburo ShiroyamaFor his outstanding literary work and creating a new genre of “business fiction” spotlighting the relationship between individuals and organizations.
Kazuya KatoFor his research on the number theory.
Kohei TamaoFor groundbreaking research and development on organo-metallic chemical reactions.
Fiscal 2001
Michiko IshimureFor her creative work that points to the crisis our ecosystem faces due to environmental destruction.
Hayao MiyazakiFor the production of outstanding animation movies.
Takayasu HiguchiFor his pioneering archeological studies and shedding new light on cultural exchanges between the East and the West.
Jun AkimitsuFor the discovery of a new high temperature-metal superconductor.
Yoshinori TokuraFor research work on strongly correlated electronic matter.
Fiscal 2000
Hisashi InoueFor his creative work that integrates elements of the intellectual and the average people into contemporary history.
Yayoi KusamaFor her avant-garde artistic activities that greatly affected post-war art around the world.
Sensaku ShigeyamaFor his contribution to the promotion of Kyogen as an art form for the general public through his brilliant spontaneous stage performances.
Isamu Akasaki and Shuji NakamuraFor their research and development of a blue light emitting device.
Mitsuhiro YanagidaFor his research on the mechanism of chromosome transmission to the next generation.

Fiscal 1999

  • Tsurumi Kazuko
  • Tetsuji Miwa・ Michio Jinbo
  • Akiko Baba
  • Yukio NInagawa
  • Tatsuo Suda
  • Seiji Ogawa

Fiscal 1998

  • Michio Mado
  • Yuzo Yamane
  • Osamu Suzuki
  • The Super-Kamiokande Observatory group ( Representative: Yoji Totsuka)
  • Toshio Yanagida

Fiscal 1997

  • Donald Keene
  • Hayao Kawai
  • Ikkou Tanaka
  • Tamao Yoshida
  • Kenichi Iga
  • Shigekazu Nagata

Fiscal 1996

  • Makoto Ooka
  • Mitsuko Uchida
  • Yoji Yamada
  • Shizuka Shirakawa
  • Sumio Iijima
  • Fujihiro Araki

Fiscal 1995

  • Shuntaro Tanikawa
  • The late Iri Maruki and Toshi Maruki
  • Beicho Katsura
  • Taryo Obayashi
  • Shukuro Manabe
  • Nobutaka Hirokawa

Fiscal 1994

  • Yoshie Hotta
  • Kenzaburo Oe
  • Tadao Ando
  • Shunsuke Tsurumi
  • Makoto Kobayashi/ Toshihide Masukawa
  • Kosaku Maruyama

Fiscal 1993

  • Shuichi Kato
  • Tatsuo Nishida
  • Shuhei Fujisawa
  • Isuzu Yamada
  • Hiroo Kanamori
  • Masatoshi Takeichi

Fiscal 1992

  • Toshiaki Okubo
  • Fumihiko Maki
  • Hiroshi Wakasugi
  • Shunshin Chin
  • Shoichi Sakagami
  • Ryoji Noyori

Fiscal 1991

  • Issei Miyake
  • Shotaro Yasuoka
  • Shuson Kato
  • Kiyotari Tsuboi
  • Goro Shimura
  • Tomoo Masaki

Fiscal 1990

  • Hidekazu Yoshida
  • Shujiro Shimada
  • Senichiro Hakomori
  • Akira Miyawaki
  • Masato Sagawa

Fiscal 1989

  • Setsuko Migishi
  • Seicho Matsumoto
  • Yoko Morishita
  • Tatsusaburo Hayashiya
  • Masaji Kiyokawa
  • Kumao Toyoshima/ Tadashi Yamamoto
  • Tomisaku Kawasaki

Fiscal 1988

  • Setsu Asakura
  • Churyo Sato
  • Hiroshi Noma
  • Nagaharu Yodogawa
  • Seishi Yamaguchi
  • Hirotsugu Akaike
  • Tadamitsu Kishimoto
  • Tadatsugu Taniguchi

Fiscal 1987

  • Arata Isozaki
  • Osamu Tezuka
  • Hanae Mori
  • Tadao Umesao
  • Masaki Kashiwara/ Takahiro Kawai
  • The Kamioka Observatory group (Representative: Masatoshi Koshiba)
  • Hisayuki Matsuo

Fiscal 1986

  • Kashiko Kawakita
  • Yukihiko Nakamura
  • Motoo Kimura
  • Akira Tonomura
  • Kiyoshi Takatsuki/ Isao Miyoshi/ Yorio Hinuma/ Mitsuaki Yoshida
  • Junichi Tomizawa

Fiscal 1985

  • Masao Maruyama
  • Junji Kinoshita
  • Seiji Ozawa
  • Kazuo Miyagawa
  • Izuo Hayashi
  • Yasutomi Nishizuka

Fiscal 1984

  • Yasushi Inoue
  • Toru Takemitsu
  • Yoshishige Saito
  • The production team of the documentary program, “The Silk Road,” Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK)
  • Junichi Nishizawa
  • Michiaki Takahashi

Fiscal 1983

  • Ineko Sata
  • Yusaku Kamekura
  • Toyomune Minamoto
  • Masaki Watanabe
  • Shiro Kakiuchi
  • Hidesaburo Hanabusa

Fiscal 1982

  • Yoshio Nakano
  • Toshihiko Izutsu
  • Ryotaro Shiba
  • Kenichi Honda/ Akira Fujishima
  • Shosaku Numa/ Shigetada Nakanishi

Fiscal 1981

  • Gaishi Takeuchi
  • Morio Kasai
  • Susumu Tonegawa
  • Tasuku Honjo
  • Jun Ishikawa
  • Tomio Tada

Fiscal 1980

  • Yaeko Nogami
  • The observation team of the X-ray astronomy satellite Hakucho (Representative: Minoru Oda)
  • Isao Arita
  • Ohara Museum of Art

Fiscal 1979

  • Shigemi Komatsu
  • Jun Kondo
  • Type B hepatitis research group (Representative: Toshitsugu Oda)
  • Yasumasa Miki
  • Masaji Tabata

Fiscal 1978

  • Takeo Kanaseki
  • Takashi Asahina
  • Ken Domon
  • Setsuya Fujita

Fiscal 1977

  • Shigeharu Nakano
  • Koreya Senda
  • The researchers who developed the stationery satellite (Representative: Akiyoshi Matsuura, president, National Space Development Agency of Japan (NASDA))
  • Masami Monji/ Toshiro Saeki
  • Kiyoshi Ito

Fiscal 1976

  • Yoshihiko Saito
  • Kiyoshi Kanai
  • Reiji Natori
  • Shinsuke Hattori

Fiscal 1975

  • Shohei Ooka
  • Kaneto Shindo
  • Yusuke Hagihara
  • Yoshimitsu Kikuchi/ Toshio Wagai
  • The research group at the Oarai Branch, Institute for Materials Research, Tohoku University (Representative: Seishi Yajima)

Fiscal 1974

  • Kanson Arahata
  • Yasue Yamamoto
  • Takeo Kuwabara
  • Tamio Yamakawa
  • Fumio Osawa

Fiscal 1973

  • Joji Tsubota
  • Takeshiro Kuraishi
  • Masao Suenaga
  • Kimishige Ishizaka/ Teruko Ishizaka
  • Sachio Hayakawa

Fiscal 1972

  • Tatsuo Hayashi
  • Japan-China Cultural Exchange Association (Representative: Kenzo Nakajima)
  • Yaeko Mizutani
  • Fusae Ichikawa
  • Sho Asakura/ Tetsuo Iino
  • Hideo Hayashi

Fiscal 1971

  • Kazuo Watanabe
  • Toshio Fukuyama
  • Jisaburo Oi
  • Yoshio Okada

Fiscal 1970

  • Hisao Otsuka
  • Kojiro Yoshikawa
  • Saburo Nagakura
  • Reiji Okazaki

Fiscal 1969

  • Kiyoshi Yabuuchi
  • Mikio Sato/ Hikosaburo Komatsu
  • Hikoo Shirakabe/ Heizaburo Ichikawa/ Kenji Kumakura

Fiscal 1968

  • Seiichi Iwao
  • Haruko Sugimura
  • Setsuro Ebashi
  • The primate research group led by Denzaburo Miyaji and Imanishi Kinji

Fiscal 1967

  • Masao Fukushima and the“family system”research group
  • Osamu Takata
  • Tsunematsu Takemoto/ Koji Nakanishi
  • Heisuke Hironaka

Fiscal 1966

  • Hisataka Omodaka
  • Takeshi Hayashi
  • Osamu Takizawa
  • Kyusaku Ogino
  • Fujio Egami
  • The Minamata disease study group at the School of Medicine of Kumamoto University (Representative: Masachika Kutsuna)

Fiscal 1965

  • Noboru Niida
  • Takao Tsuchiya
  • Yukio Yashiro
  • Akira Kurosawa
  • Chushiro Hayashi
  • Yoshio Nakazawa/ Tatsuo Saeki

Fiscal 1964

  • Mosaku Ishida
  • Kansuke Naka
  • Jiro Osaragi
  • Shiko Munakata
  • Kenzo Tange
  • Tokyo Cinema Co. (Representative: Sozo Okada)
  • The engineering group at the then-state-run Japanese National Railways, that developed the “Shinkansen” bullet train (Representative: Hideo Shima)
  • Osamu Hayaishi
  • Kyosuke Tsuda/ Yoshimasa Hirata/ Isamu Nitta/ Akira Yokoo
  • Tsunesaburo Fujino/ Iwao Takikawa/ Hideo Fukumi/ Riichi Sakazaki

Fiscal 1963

  • The editing group for the compilation of “Kokushi Taikei”the earliest historical writings of Japan (Representative: Jiro Maruyama)
  • Yagoro Zenchiku
  • Masuichi Midoro
  • Kisaku Ito
  • The late Masatsugu Kusumoto
  • Yoshihide Kozai
  • Yoshiro Ono
  • Seiji Kimoto
  • Shigeru Sakakibara
  • Gito Teruoka

Fiscal 1962

  • Sueji Umehara
  • Hanjiro Sakamoto
  • Keizo Shibusawa
  • Shotaro Hanayagi
  • Yozo Matsushima
  • Shuji Fukui/ Shigenori Miyamoto
  • The construction office, at the Kurobe River No. 4 Power Plant (Representative: Masanori Nose)
  • Heita Okabe

Fiscal 1961

  • Shin Hasegawa
  • Kunio Maekawa
  • Rentaro Kota
  • Juro Tabuchi
  • Yasuji Katsuki
  • Osaka University, magnetic theory research group (Representative: Takeo Nagamiya)
  • Shigeo Takahara

Fiscal 1960

  • Sokichi Tsuda
  • Sadatoshi Yasugi
  • Gakuryo Nakamura
  • Maki Yamashita
  • Tatsuro Matsumoto
  • Toshio Kato
  • Kazuo Okunuki

Fiscal 1959

  • Muneyoshi Yanagi
  • Kabuki actor Jukai Ichikawa (Real name: Shozo Ota)
  • Hidetoshi Takahashi/ Eiichi Goto
  • Reona Esaki
  • Kenkichi Iwasaki
  • Yuichi Yamamura

Fiscal 1958

  • Research group of the history of agricultural development (Representative: Seiichi Tohata)
  • Takeo Matsumura
  • Hamao Umezawa
  • Keizo Yasumatsu
  • Tadayori Tobita

Fiscal 1957

  • Rizo Takeuchi
  • Hiroshi Toda
  • Shizo Kanaguri

Fiscal 1956

  • Ryuzaburo Umehara
  • The late Kikan Ikeda
  • Toranosuke Nishioka
  • Toshio Sudo
  • Takusaburo Kihara

Fiscal 1955

  • Eiji Yoshikawa
  • Ken Yanagisawa/ Toshiaki Ebina/ Yoji Obayashi/ Tadao Toda/ Yuzo Kawamori
  • Shizuo Miyake/ Ryoji Ueda

Fiscal 1954

  • Daisetsu Suzuki
  • Mashiho Chiri
  • Harumichi Oka/ Hideo Kumabe
  • Chuji Tsuboi

Fiscal 1953

  • Zennosuke Tsuji
  • Jitsuzo Tamura/ Yukio Kobayashi
  • Kiyoshi Oka
  • Koichi Motokawa

Fiscal 1952

  • The research committee on Chinese agricultural practices (Representative: Noboru Niida)
  • Ken Iwasaki
  • Toshiyuki Kurotsu

Fiscal 1951

  • Japan Symphony Orchestra (The current NHK Symphony Orchestra)
  • Tetsuo Nozoe
  • Tomizo Yoshida

Fiscal 1950

  • Yukichi Habara
  • Seiichi Mizuno/ Toshio Nagahiro
  • Isao Imai
  • Shigeru Miki

Fiscal 1949

  • Keiichi Harada
  • Kenzo Hayashi
  • Masashi Miyaji

Fiscal 1948

  • Junichiro Tanizaki
  • The educational movie department of Nihon Eiga Sha
  • Shoichi Sakata

Fiscal 1947

  • Shigeki Kaizuka
  • Zenshinza
  • Motosaburo Masuyama

Fiscal 1946

  • Shinichiro Tomonaga
  • Waro Nakahara

Fiscal 1945

  • Prize award discontinued

Fiscal 1944

  • Yoshio Nishina
  • Teishin Seo
  • Toa Koko Gakkai(Toa archeological society)(Representative: Kozaburo Shimamura)
  • Mazaburo Umewaka
  • Hisao Omata/ Hisayoshi Tanaka/ Kiyoshi Shimazaki/ Sadaji Sakamoto/ Hideo Morimatsu/ Ishio Hahiro

Fiscal 1943

  • Aikitsu Tanakadate
  • Satoyasu Iimori
  • Masao Naruse
  • Jun Kawada
  • Tetsuji Morohashi
  • Saburo Miyamoto

Fiscal 1942

  • Tsuguharu Fujita
  • Kenichi Nakamura
  • Kiyoshi Nobutoki
  • Toyoo Iwata
  • Nihon Eiga Sha
  • Eiza Yoshida/ Bungoro Yoshida
  • Tamotsu Nishina
  • Shuji Hasegawa
  • Yoshio Sakai/ Kenji Hishinuma/ Toku Yo

Fiscal 1941

  • Iwao Kugimiya/ Hiroshi Arima/ Kenji Kano
  • Yutaka Kubota/ Tokihiko Sato/ Shoji Tamaki
  • Matsukichi Miyoshi/ Kenichiro Kazaoka
  • Yukihiko Yasuda

Fiscal 1940

  • Shinobu Ishihara
  • Gyokudo Kawai
  • Seizo(?) Sato
  • Seichi Taki
  • Kunio Yanagida
  • Kosaku Yamada

Fiscal 1939

  • Kansetsu Hashimoto
  • Ryohei Koiso
  • Ashihei Hino
  • Makoto Kawase/ Toru Ogawa/ Toshio Yokota
  • Tatsuzo Miyama/ Ryonosuke Abe
  • Koki Kudo
  • Taro Tsukada
  • Sumitoshi Nakao/ Shigeo Yoshida/ Hajime Shimokawa/ Hiroshi Saeki/ Nobusada Sato/ Chosaku Yaokawa

Fiscal 1938

  • Seigo Hosoya
  • Yuzo Fujita/ Fukujiro Takahashi/ Kinkichi or Chikayoshi(?) Sekine

Fiscal 1937

  • Shohei Tanaka
  • Masaaki Inuma/ Kenji Tsukagoshi

Fiscal 1936

  • Tomitaro Makino
  • Kinjiro Okabe
  • Shigeyasu Tokunaga

Fiscal 1935

  • Toson Shimazaki
  • Heiichi Mukiyama
  • Hisashi Kimura

Fiscal 1934

  • Kotaro Tanaka
  • Takashi Takamatsu
  • Jigoro Kano

Fiscal 1933

  • Toshiro Ihara
  • Taikan Yokoyama

Fiscal 1932

  • Junjiro Takakusu
  • Kunishiro Mitsuya
  • Junichi Suzuki
  • Kinsaku Nakanishi

Fiscal 1931

  • Shozaburo Hoshino/ Samuro Yamamoto

Fiscal 1930

  • Nobutsuna Sasaki
  • Tadaoki Yamamoto
  • Ryushi Kawabata
  • Minoru Uchida

Fiscal 1929

  • Shoyo Tsubouchi
  • Toyotaro Suhara
  • Seison Maeda

◇ Asahi Special Prize

This prize honors individuals and groups that have continued to offer international or social dedication over the years, demonstrating exceptional results in fields not covered by the Asahi Prize.

Fiscal 1995 Asahi Special Sports Prize
Hanji AokiFor his dedication to the development of amateur sport activities.
Fiscal 1999 Asahi Special Prize (International Contribution)
Sadako OgataFor her unwavering dedication to international services, especially for the resolution of the refugee issue.